Where’s city’s money going?

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The citizens of Bainbridge should be proud of and thankful for Councilmembers {Roslyn} Palmer and {Phil} Long for voting no on the latest tax increases.

Palmer and Long understand the present economy’s effect on the city. Probably less than a dozen people attended the tax hearings. To those people standing quietly on the sideline, stop complaining and do something—even if it is wrong and makes city hall unhappy.

I wish I had not spoken at the first meeting. I left city hall feeling very depressed. Only two council members were present, Palmer and Long, the mayor and the city manager. Mr. Long returned from vacation to attend. Where were the other council members? Thanks Phil, that shows dedication.

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Before the meeting, the mayor and I had a brief conversation. The decision to increase taxes had been made, we have the lowest taxes, and the hearings were not relative.

Congressman Bishop had the same attitude at the Bainbridge town hall health care meeting.

As for the lowest taxes, our local taxes equal the North Carolina taxes. I write the checks. North Carolina is known for high taxes. The library has a copy of the city’s finances and is available upon request. I saw many questionable expenses; however, I mention only a few.

If you want to know why your waste and sewage bill has been increasing, you will be pleased to know in 2008, $3,637,106 was collected and $3,169,624 was spent. In 2009, $5,428,223 was collected and $4,036,659 was spent. In 2010, $6,690,749 was collected and $2,835,468 was spent. Do the math.

I believe in children playing sports. I always enjoyed playing, coaching and watching my children and grandchildren play. I am proud of Bill Reynolds sports park. He deserves the recognition. However, Leisure Services spent $1,018,800. They spent $134,000 more than the city collected in property taxes. I have no idea the next two expenditures are. Perhaps someone can and will publicly explain. Council and appointments spend $718,000 plus $261,400 other costs. Appropriation detail spent $78,700 plus other cost of $261,366. What other costs?

For the citizens who do not play tennis, you must see the tennis complex. It is as good and fancy as the Macon tennis complex. Where is the Bainbridge Marina? Why are we building another marina?

The seniors are forgotten.

Many golfers are traveling to Cairo and Colquitt. The cost is lower and the courses are better.

To Chris Hobby, I apologize for snapping back at you. I have a temper also. I take personal comments seriously. You do not know me well enough to speak in an offensive tone. I am not your typical stupid old man. For your information, I have worked with people around the world, including Iran and Communist China. Even the Communists act as gentleman.

I know this is wishful thinking. I hop the city, county, school board learn to control spending and their power to increase taxes and fees. Please discontinue or delay future projects as a new football stadium, a coliseum, remodeling city hall. The economy is projected to continue to decline. We need a leader to meet the difficulties facing our area. We need a manager with a calm, cool, collected personality.

Bob CliftonBainbridge, Ga.